How much is data recovery worth to your business?
PUBLISHED: 11:28 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:28 22 August 2017
When ransomware can be bought on the net for $30, isn't it time your company data was protected? There's a cyber security solution out there - and Tech Op has the answer
It’s been impossible in recent months to escape news of major cyber attacks on high-profile UK organisations.
In May, ransomware WannaCry swept across the world, locking computers and demanding payment for them to be unlocked.
The NHS was badly hit and Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre - part of GCHQ in Cheltenham - launched an investigation, pointing the finger at a North Korean hacking group called Lazarus.
But it’s not just big corporations that face a real and immediate threat from hackers; it’s all businesses, particularly SMEs whose data security systems are often less robust than they should be.
Tech Op, based in Charlton Kings, has since 1983 been advising businesses how to protect themselves against malware - and installing scaled, managed software to help mitigate the risks.
Simply downloading virus protection software on to your computers just won’t cut it any more, says Business Relationship Manager Justin Richmond.
“The IT landscape has completely changed” he said. “It’s unrecognisable from the world we were in even four or five years ago.”
So why is ransomware on such a stratospheric rise?
It’s a perfect storm made up of deadly components, says Director Simon Leonard.
The development of ransomware is a business of 10-15 years standing, and it’s a huge employer of commercial and support staff.
It used to be high cost and high risk, focused on single businesses.
But now it’s developed and sold as a commodity in the global marketplace, making the developers much harder to trace.
“It’s akin to a drug producer with a runner, a mule at the airport,” said Simon.
“The problem is, everyone expects the internet to be available all the time,” added fellow Director Sam Wilson, whose background is in software development.
“At home, at work, and because of that the risks are multiplying because people are understanding how to put viruses together.
“And your only defence, really, is to have systems in place that will get you back to a place where your data hadn’t been compromised.
“It used to be that you’d only back up overnight, and nowadays you can still do that, but it might take you days to get it back. At what cost to your business?”
It’s all about business continuity, says Simon.
Tech Op builds and manages systems systems which replicate all your company data, making it easily and immediately accessible in the event of a cyber attack.
From state-sponsored hackers to the teenager in his bedroom who has bought ransomware with a pre-populated database of companies from the dark net for as little as $30, the biggest threat still comes from those who work in the company.
As Simon explains, children downloading on dad’s company laptop apps which have malware attached, and which he then unwittingly brings back into the office, can cause havoc because they can get behind even the most robust firewall.
Protecting companies from hackers can no longer be left to our spymasters - it’s every business’ responsibility.
“It’s a challenge now for lots of businesses out there to look at their cyber policies,” said Justin, which is why the company is sponsoring Business & Professional magazine’s Cyber News pages.
“GDPR is coming out in May next year, and they need to be protecting themselves and their data.
“Businesses grow, they may have become much more profitable, taken on many more staff, but often their IT systems have stayed where they were.”
The Tech Op team will go into a company, quiz its management team, explain the ‘engine room’ of the dark net, analyse its systems and then build a bespoke data security roadmap covering the next five years.
That way, the business can see the benefits immediately - where it is in the IT landscape now, and where Tech Op will take it in terms of protecting its and its customers’ data in the future.
“It’s not scaremongering,” said Justin.
“It’s consultative. It’s not a hard sell, and if, once we’ve gone through everything and looked at the costs, businesses don’t want to go ahead, that’s fine by us.
“But when we start to ask, what would the cost of your business being down for 24 hours - paying staff when they can’t do anything, customers going elsewhere - then they start to understand the benefits.
“It’s why we’re so pleased to be sponsoring Business & Professional’s cyber news pages - because we believe every business should know the risks, and how to protect themselves.”
Tech Op is 268 London Road, Charlton Kings, GL52 6HS. Visit the website here!